In the Spring Garden
The lost cat paces the driveway as Jim walks slowly along the edge of the flowerbed, turning the weakly spraying hose this way and that. Nothing is showing through yet, but he knows what’s coming: peonies, creeping phlox, iris. He wants everything drenched, and the lost cat just wants her private yard back. I tried unsuccessfully, a few days prior, to put the cat in a carrier, to take her to the vet so they could scan her, see if she was chipped, if she belonged to someone who might be looking for her. But she seemed determined to remain lost, gave me three deep scratches across the top of my left hand, flew out of the carrier in which I’d just placed her, and hid under the bare dogwoods. I could see her. The shrubs were still bare. But I left her there, thinking perhaps she was lost because she wanted to be lost, and maybe she was better with us. Jim finishes watering—the soil is so ripe with life—and coils the bright pink hose at the base of the spigot. He comes back into the house, and through the dining room window—in our house, the dining room is for books, not dining—I see the lost one walk slowly back to her garden, stepping carefully on the newly soaked beds.
William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. He has published four collections of poetry, including Sin Eater (Mid-List Press, 2010). His fifth, Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity, will be published by Broadstone Books in 2016. A limited edition chapbook, As Breath in Winter, was published by MIEL Press in 2015. Reichard is the editor of the anthology, American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice (New Village Press, 2011), as well as The Evening Crowd at Kirmer’s: A Gay Life in the 1940’s (Univ. of MN Press, 2001). He lives in Saint Paul, MN.